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This Week's Facts:

-Anniversary Approaches for Revolutionary Literature Offers Ideas for New Year's Resolutions

-New Resource is Clearinghouse for Federal Video Files

-Census Unveils New Look for Website

Document of the Month: Report of the Indiana Arsenal

“An Act to provide for the defense of the State of Indiana, to procure first class arms, artillery, cavalry, and infantry equipments, and munitions of war, making the necessary appropriations therefor [sic], and authorizing the Governor to borrow money.” Approved April 1, 1861.

The Indianapolis Arsenal was established by Governor Oliver P. Morton in 1861. Col. Herman Sturm, who had studied ammunition manufacturing in Germany, was put in charge of operations. On July 11, 1861, Congress passed an act providing for the creation of three permanent federal arsenals, including one at Indianapolis, at a cost of $100,000 each. The Federal Ordnance Department took over operations of the Arsenal in April, 1863. Although there was only one report published, this document provides a historic look at Indiana’s contribution in the war. The abstract gives detailed records (ledgers) on the weaponry and accessories used by Regiments in Indiana and other states. For example, historians and war buffs are able to see that Col. Lew Wallace was given a voucher for ammunition May 1861. The reports are arranged by classes of weaponry, artillery, ammunitions, and other war-related items. The Report of the Indiana Arsenal can be found in the Indiana Collection, I623.4 I385, for 1861-1862.


Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth Hedges
Federal Documents Librarian

Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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Anniversary Approaches for Revolutionary Literature

Edsitement! Common Sense by Thomas PaineJanuary 10 marks the anniversary of the original publication of Common Sense by Thomas Paine. Published in 1776, this pamphlet was instrumental in shifting public opinion toward revolution. Believed to be the first comprehensive and public call for independence from England, Common Sense was also notable in that it was printed on a massive scale and distributed throughout the colonies. According to Paine, British rule was directly responsible for all social, political, and economic problems in the colonies. The only way to overcome these problems was to mount a unified front against Britain and declare independence. His written attacks on the British government and ideas for achieving independence, combined with the excellent timing of the publication, managed to persuade many people around the colonies that revolution was necessary. InfoUSA, a product of the U.S. Department of State, has the full text to Common Sense available on their website. Teachers may also be interested in the lesson plan from Edsitement!, a division of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Go here to learn background information, lesson activities, and how to incorporate this topic into other lessons. Offers Ideas for New Year's Resolutions New Year's ResolutionsDo you need ideas for New Year’s resolutions? Choose from this handy list, via Ideas include: Get Fit, Manage Debt, Manage Stress, Save Money, and Volunteer to Help Others. Tips mentioned for managing stress are: planning ahead, deciding which tasks need to be done first, preparing for stressful events, paying attention to when you feel stressed, taking the time to relax, getting active and eating healthy, and talking to friends and family. Librarians and patrons can improve the environment by conserving resources in our communities during the new year. See the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle website of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for more information on waste reduction. For another very popular resolution, here is an additional blog resource for getting fit and managing weight in 2012.

New Resource is Clearinghouse for Federal Video Files

FedFlixYouTube isn’t the only place online to go for free videos. FedFlix, a cooperative effort between the National Technical Information Service and Public.Resource.Org, is a great source for free movies from the federal government. These run the gamut of topics and include newsreels, training films, movies about national parks and space travel, and more. Some movies are only a few minutes long; others last almost a half hour. These are all in the public domain, allowing librarians and teachers to use them and reproduce them as needed. These are a wonderful way to incorporate new sources into your presentations or lessons. For example, a de-classified video on the Battle of Midway (most downloaded item of last week) not only helps teach about the battle itself, but also gives viewers a glimpse into film techniques of the 1940s and how broadcast styles have changed since. The database is searchable and includes advanced searching features. You can also browse by collection, keyword, creator, and title. The collection is available on the Internet Archive here. If you’re looking for a fun twist to add to a program, don’t forget to check out FedFlix!

Census Unveils New Look for Website

US Census BureauThe Census Bureau provides the public with a new interface for its main website this year. The new main page at has modules which contain QuickFacts by state; a Population Finder to compare the 2010 Census numbers by states, cities, or counties; Economic Indicators from the Bureau (and a place to subscribe to the RSS feed); interactive maps; Census Bureau news & events; lists of featured topics at the top of the page; and a “Stat of the Day.” There is a red dialog bubble on the right to provide immediate feedback about what you and your patrons find useful (and not) about the new design. At the bottom of the page, you’ll find a directory to the website via alphabetical lists, which is a noteworthy upgrade from the old design. This is where to go when you need data about any area of the U.S., so take advantage of it, and don’t be afraid to mention possible improvements to the site!

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